by William Goss
Has it really been a year since Disney offered up their first taste of Tron: Legacy, this winter's sequel to the 1982 cult property, to a dedicated geek audience? They're back at Comic-Con in San Diego, working the crowd into a fresh lather this year with a new trailer (simultaneously made available over on Yahoo!) and a panel discussion. (On top of that, they've recorded the shouts of the Hall H audience for use in the finished film itself.)
But as a friend and I were discussing just before the frenzy was re-ignited, is the mainstream audience there for it? He argued that no, most people weren't terribly aware of the original, and those who were wouldn't necessarily be fond of it nearly three decades later, at least not to the point where they're eager to drag their kids along.
I, on the other hand, think that there may be a renewed sense of spectacle here. Just in terms of looks, it's certainly got a cool sheen to it, making the neon color scheme seem a bit more brooding than dated ("It'll be like Speed Racer, only grumpier!"). Even better, it's got a cool Sheen in it -- Michael Sheen. Last month's reshoots? Overhauled by the brains at Pixar. Throw in a score by Daft Punk (!), an eerily de-aged Jeff Bridges and action that could pack a punch without necessarily being violent (after all, no blood to be spilled, only pixels)... and I'm cautiously optimistic. (I say this as someone who admires the original's influence on visual effects but isn't exactly thrilled by the whole.)
The mystery hook at the center of it ought to be enough to rope in those unfamiliar with the first film. Will it work for adults, the mystery, the mood, the flash? Will it captivate kids beyond guaranteed toy sales? No one can say for sure, but as Legacy sits in the Avatar release slot and as 3D films continue to rake it in, I feel like Disney's going to push this in a big way come December -- whether you wanted it or not.